Book review: A Good Place to Hide a Body by Laura Marshall

Thursday, July 11, 2024 Permalink

A Good Place to Hide a Body by Laura Marshall starts off with a prologue and it’s a clever move by Marshall. Not the use of a prologue of course as it’s quite common, but the way she leaves us hanging at the end of it… allowing us to make certain assumptions, before moving three months into the past when a family’s lives were turned upside down.

Book review: A Good Place to Hide a Body by Laura MarshallA Good Place to Hide a Body
by Laura Marshall
Published by Hodder & Stoughton, Hodder & Stoughton UK
on 04/07/2024
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Thriller / Suspense
ISBN: 1399729659
Pages: 320
three-half-stars
Goodreads

For women of Penny's generation, being on hand for elderly parents is just part of life. But for Penny, things have become a little more serious...

When she receives a frantic phone call from her parents one night, with express instructions NOT to call the police, Penny rushes over at once. But they haven't had a fall. They haven't forgotten their computer passwords. They've killed someone. And his body is lying in the garden, right next to the rose bushes.

Everyone is capable of murder. They just need to meet the right person.

Penny’s a devoted (if somewhat impatient and judgemental) daughter, supporting her ageing parents and trying to do the same for her son, Zach, who’s away at University. Zach’s father dumped Penny for a woman 20 years his junior though the pair get on for the sake of their son. Penny’s struggling though, just making ends meet on her mortgage so when her parents get into financial stress and she can’t help them she suggests they take in a tenant.

Cooper Brownlow has been screened by the real estate agency and Penny assumes he’s had a similar experience to her, needing temporary accommodation as a result of a break-up. He’s charismatic and well-spoken though her parents quickly regret their decision as he has visitors at night and they suspect him of drug dealing. Penny finds Cooper attractive and believes her parents are confused and over-reacting.

And before too long Penny realises her parents were justified in their concerns and she’s misjudged Cooper who’s now showing his rather ugly true colours. And it’s obvious he’s played this game before as he’s far better at it than Penny and her family who run out of options in their attempts to evict him.

This is the third book I’ve read by Marshall and I enjoyed this though it’s obvious early where it’s going… we did see several similar movies a decade or two ago about horror tenants who are unable to be evicted. We know from the prologue that this reaches some sort of crisis (resulting in a body) and I liked the way Marshall lures us in, then throws in a few surprises as well as a few OTT moments. This is an entertaining read and slightly nerve-wracking as readers will wonder if the guilty will be punished and how exactly one defines guilt and innocence. It would probably make a good book club read for that reason… it’d incite some robust ethical or moral discussions.

A Good Place to Hide a Body by Laura Marshall was published by Hodder & Stoughton (UK) and is now available.

I received an electronic copy of this book for review purposes. 

three-half-stars

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